Does Kim Jong-un Have a State-of-the-Art Samsung Phone?

  • By Kim Myong-song

    July 14, 2023 11:58

    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has a high-end foldable smartphone that looks suspiciously like Samsung's Galaxy Z Flip.
    A photo of Kim published by the official [North] Korean Central News Agency on Thursday shows the North Korean leader watching the test launch of a new intercontinental ballistic missile, and on the table in front of him are cigarettes, an ash tray, a canned beverage and what looks like a foldable smartphone. 
    Although the protective case makes it difficult to determine the brand, the size and thickness resembles a foldable Samsung or Huawei phone. The product could have been smuggled through China although UN sanctions prohibit the exports of electronics to North Korea. 
    North Korean leader Kim Jong-un watches a missile launch on Tuesday in this photo from the [North] Korean Central News Agency the following day. A foldable smartphone is seen on the table in front of him.
    Just around four months ago, Kim was using an ordinary bar-type smartphone.
    North Korea's state-run broadcaster featured a program promoting the safe and proper use of smartphones with the indigenous Samtaesong 8 handset shown in the background, but that is a much more primitive device. 
    The North has rolled out a variety of smartphones such as Pyongyang Touch, Arirang, Jindallae and Purun Hanul, but they are probably manufactured in China. It is impossible to access the internet via smartphones in North Korea, so access to an intranet is the only option.  
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